This film should be compulsory viewing for all students of Jurisprudence. Despite predating Dworkin and his “Taking Rights Seriously” by a number of years, this film on the prosecution of four Nazi judges marvelously illustrates Dworkin’s theory on ‘hard cases’ and the actions of judges when confronted with the hardest of such cases.
This is best captured by the submission of the inimitable defense attorney, Hans Rolfe (portrayed by Maximilian Schell, who won as Oscar for his role), after the Court has been shown horrifying images and videos of Nazi concentration camps in Dachau and Belsen: “the most ironic part of it is that the prosecution showed these films against these defendants…men who stayed in power for one reason only, to prevent worse things from happening. Who is the braver man? The man who escapes, or resigns in times of peril or the man who stays on his post at the risk of his own personal safety?”